A new report by Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights, “Smart Medicaid: Leveraging Cognitive Technologies to Improve Health and Program Efficiencies,” examines how smart technologies could be applied to Medicaid agencies to help promote independent living, improve customer service and program administration, and target interventions with patients who need them most.

“A smart Medicaid system could help programs make use of the vast amounts of data they are already collecting, and combine forces with other health-related entities to better serve their populations,” said Will Carroll, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Medicaid enterprise solution leader. “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and many states are taking significant steps to modernize their Medicaid systems by upgrading with module, interoperable platforms and migrating to the cloud. The time is now to bring smart technologies to Medicaid.”

“We’re seeing powerful examples of smart technologies being used by health organizations around the globe,” said William Eggers, executive director, Deloitte Center for Government Insights. “Whether it is on-demand transportation systems for seniors or detecting health hotspots, smart technologies can help state Medicaid systems provide services in new ways that meet patients’ changing needs.”

The report outlines three smart technologies – internet of things (IoT), machine learning and geospatial information systems (GIS) – and how those technologies can be applied to Medicaid systems and examples of current use cases.

  • IoT: Promote independent living via remote patient monitoring as well as program operations such as nonemergency medical transportation (NEMT) services. Use cases include: smart pills from Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center and Circulation, an on-demand, NEMT platform.
  • Machine learning: Target interventions such as predicting health care utilization and customer service. Use cases include Boston University’s Center for Information and Systems Engineering’s health predictions and the United Kingdom’s chatbot for government housing applications.
  • GIS: Program operations such as ensuring network adequacy and targeted interventions in geographic hotspots. Use cases include Pennsylvania Medicaid and the University of Florida’sFamily Data Center.

The report outlines five steps states can take to bring smart technologies into their systems:

  1. Upgrade your Medicaid platform to a modular and interoperable platform with open application programming interfaces (APIs) and transferring Medicaid data to the cloud.
  2. Start small by adopting one smart technology at a time and select a project that is not overly complex when you are first getting started.
  3. Develop a cohesive framework for your smart technologies and create a blueprint for how these technologies would not only perform discreet projects but how they would communicate with one another.
  4. Use analytics to monitor outcomes and return on investment.
  5. Establish a process for continually evaluating new technologies as smart technologies keep improving. Agencies should track these developments in the market regularly to evaluate whether new technologies can further improve Medicaid operations and population health.

The Deloitte Center for Government Insights shares inspiring stories of government innovation, looking at what’s behind the adoption of new technologies and management practices. We produce cutting-edge research that guides public officials without burying them in jargon and minutiae, crystalizing essential insights in an easy-to-absorb format. Through research, forums and immersive workshops, our goal is to provide public officials, policy professionals, and members of the media with fresh insights that advance an understanding of what is possible in government transformation.